AAAAAAAAND, IT’S GONE!
Here’s the quote from Blizzard:
Head enchants are gone.The general consensus seems to be a bit ambivalent to the whole thing and I honestly don’t have that much to add. My own opinion is that it’s a bit of a shame to lose the reputation buffs to character power, regardless of how “compelling” they actually are. I kind of like the small reward that comes with a bit of faction work, and the arcanum has never really been difficult to get hold of – at worst, I think you only need to ding yourself to honoured and you’re there.
We decided that putting head enchants on the various faction vendors wasn't working well with our design intent for the factions. There is a lot of max-level quest content in MoP, much of it focused around the reputation with the new factions. I think it's really cool stuff -- worlds away from the old Argent Dawn scourge stone days.
In previous expansions, the head enchants on the faction vendors served to force players into that content. You couldn't even choose which reputation to pursue -- you had to pursue the one with your specific head enchant. Our design intent for MoP is to give players options in how to play, and the head enchant design wasn't compatible with that.
Once we decided to no longer offer new head enchants, we made the older ones non-functional or else players would feel like they had to go back to older content or be missing out on power. This way, helmets are just no longer enchantable and you'll have one less required step to get a piece of loot ready to wear.
Shoulder enchants can now be provided by scribes, so those still exist, but they are also not part of the faction reputation system.
With tabards and quests, it’s not a big job by any stretch of the imagination.
That said, I can see why Blizzard would go down this route. When push comes to shove, there’s no choice regarding the head slot because there’s a specific one for every spec that you need to grind reputation for and that’s an end to it. In current development language, “no choice” essentially means “no fun”, so it’s a logical conclusion to the problem of having to grind for enchants.
That said, I’d have maybe liked to see the head arcanum find its way into a profession spell book similar to the shoulder inscriptions. Scribes aren’t great gold-makers, nor are engineers, so maybe putting the power into the hands of engineers (similar to belt buckles) might have been a way of keeping the head slot available.
Is it game changing, though? Of course not. It’s one less thing to grind for, and I’m comfortable with that. I just know that the OCD part of me is going to be really anxious that there’s ONE piece of gear I’ll never add anything to. :P
Just to reiterate what I said to Aralosseien:
"In many ways, I think this could ADD content for achievement-hunters such as yourself. Because the head/shoulder enhancements need to be provided for mandatory power, the grinds themselves have to be very, very easy and painless or they would accompany an explosion of complaint.
On the other hand, it appears that reputation grinds are about to become far more optional for players; you do it, or you don’t, and the rewards are purely cosmetic. If that’s the case, there’s no reason why Blizzard can’t elongate the grinds because anyone who doesn’t like reputation grinding won’t actually be forced to do it for endgame PvE.
Keep an eye out. o/"